AUSTIN -- Pounding the pavement, runners took off Sunday at Camp Mabry for the Heal Kenya 5K Fun Run.

Participants went 3.1 miles to raise money for children who live nearly 9,000 miles away, and instead of medals, runners picked up bracelets made in Kenya.

Even the youngest participants gave it all they had in a 1K for children they may never meet.

CTC (Comfort the Children) International sponsored the event, along with Dell Children s Medical Center.

Thousands and thousands of Kenyans are dying of preventable diseases, and you are here to save their lives, and you are here to support them said Charles Wachira, CTC International s Assistant Director in Kenya.

Wachira flew in from Kenya several days before the event. He works alongside CTC International s founder, Zane Wilemon.

I bought a one-way ticket to Kenya essentially 14 years ago and my life totally changed, Wilemon said.

The money raised at the Heal Kenya event will go toward treating children with preventable illnesses.

Like HIV/AIDS: the disease that took the life of Wachira s brother.

My people suffered a lot. My own brother died of HIV/AIDS and he could be living if health care is provided, said Wachira.

Ultimately, the goal was to raise $30,000 Sunday and they raised at least $70,000.

Every dollar will go toward healing children in Kenya.

If you would like to make a donation to help bring affordable health care to Kenya s youth, please click here.

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